150 Years Ago, Amanda Wilson Wrote — February 22 – February 28, 1861

Posted on Wednesday, February 23rd, 2011

Amanda Wilson was a skilled whist player.

150 Years Ago Amanda Wilson kept a daily journal for the year 1861.

Here are some of her entries:

February 22 (Fri.): Busy till 11 o’clock when Sallie and I went to the corner to see the procession in honor of Washington’s birthday. A fine military parade.[1] Have we a Washington among us? What need for such a man has our country at present? May the name, Lincoln, in future years, be cherished with as sacred memories as is that of our Washington today! Dr. Gravey – president of Hamlin College – Min – dined with us. Afternoon, Caroline, Sallie, Minnie and I went out to see the Zouave’s. We called on Mrs. Hurlburt. Evening, Mr. Stone, Obed and I played whist.

February 24 (Sun.): A great change in the weather; ground frozen and snowing.[2] Up early and down in the kitchen to teach my ‘Dutchy’ to fry eggs. Husband, Christiana and I went to Trinity Methodist Church: heard Dr. Craving preach: met Caroline there: She came home and took dinner with us. Afternoon at home. George spent a portion of it with us. Retired about ½ past 9.

February 26 (Tues.): A cloudy morning but beautiful afternoon. Practiced and sewed all the forenoon. Miss Mollie Morse spent the afternoon with me. Miss Bickham called, also Miss Harriet Bell from Ky and Caroline and Sallie. In the evening Obed and I went to hear Bayard Taylor lecture on Moscow.[3] Very interesting. A joyous, happy day!

February 28 (Thur.): How much like April. Up early, swept and dusted parlor and went to market. Took my ‘Dutchy’ with me: returned, put my chamber in order and wrote Arithmetic questions for Obed about an hour: practiced music lesson till noon. Husband went to Indianapolis.[4] Spent the evening at Mrs. Stone’s.[5] Fannie came home with me and stayed the night.


[1] Cincinnati Daily Commercial, 23 Feb 1861, p. 1. The Commercial described all of the militia units which appeared in the parade, beginning with, “the German companies, especially the Lafayette Guards, turned out stronger in rank and file … than we have ever noticed them.” The report continued, “The Rover Guards in their new overcoats … presented two solid platoon fronts of ten men each … They presented the appearance of regulars, ready for service.” The Commercial then prescribed the next militia unit to appear, “the Zouave Guards, who also wore overcoats … were noticed for [their] excellent discipline and actively exact movements.” The article then described, “the Guthrie Grays [who] paraded in much stronger force than on the President’s reception. As they always do, they looked remarkably near, were generally exact in their movements, and promptly attentive to orders … the Guthries had two companies totaling 51 men and 6 officers and a staff of 6 officers, led by Maj. W. K. Bushy.”

[2] Cincinnati Daily Commercial, 25 Feb 1861, p. 2. The temperatures were recorded as follows: “Feb. 23 temp.: 7 AM – 61 Noon—56 6 PM-47 … Feb. 24 temp.: 7 AM – 27 Noon – 31 6 PM – 33.”

[3] Cincinnati Daily Commercial, 26 Feb 1861, p. 2. The Commercial pitched Taylor’s presentation, writing: “Moscow and the Russians – Bayand Taylor, the world renowned traveler, will lecture tonight at Smith and Nixon’s Hall … This lecture is said to be the best that Mr. Taylor delivers, and it is for a benevolent object – the benefit of the Union Bethel – the Hall certainly should, and doubtless be well filled.”

[4] Cincinnati Daily Commercial, 28 Feb 1861, p. 1. The trains to Indianapolis left at 7:45 AM and 3:00 PM from the Sixth Street Depot.

[5] Mrs. Stone is Amanda’s sister, Sarah ‘Sallie’ Stone. Sallie and her husband had a least one daughter, Fannie.

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One Response to
“150 Years Ago, Amanda Wilson Wrote — February 22 – February 28, 1861”

  • Judy Biedenharn says: February 23rd, 2011 at 11:42 pm

    O Tom,
    I love to read your blog on Amanda Wilson even though I have your book.
    Missed having you at the company meeting,someone said “Won’t it be something if the (old, not really) Capt. would wander in as a lonely private.”
    How is life for you and your lovely wife down in the south?
    Miss you,Tom.
    Your Ky.Friend

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